Saturday, December 18, 2010

DREAM Act Stalls in the Senate

The DREAM Act, proposed federal legislation that has been followed closely by activists across the country and has been discussed on this blog, failed in the United States today. The inability of the Democrats to end the Republicans' filibuster, by a vote of 55-41, means that efforts to pass this major immigration bill have been stalled for the year.

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act would have offered a path to citizenship for the many illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Those applying under this act would have to complete a college degree or provide two years of military service, in addition to passing other standards regarding character and their length of stay in this country.

Republicans successfully fought against the DREAM Act for a variety of reasons. Senator John Cornyn pointed out that his opposition was due in part to the fact that there was no opportunity for amendments or hearings. Texas' other senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison, took issue with the fact that the bill expanded its scope beyond the intended beneficiaries of children who came to the United States as minors and who were educated in schools in our country.

President Obama and leading supporters of the DREAM Act in the Senate, including Sens. Harry Reid and Dick Durbin, expressed their disappointment in the fact that the measure had stalled and argued that the DREAM Act is needed to improve our economic competitiveness, maintain a strong armed forces, and offer fair treatment to young people who did not come to this country of their own choosing and who simply want a good education.

The immigration law attorneys at Bertolino LLP will continue to follow the efforts to pass the DREAM Act, as well as track other proposed legislation at the local, state, and federal level that affects immigrants. If you are in need of some legal help regarding your immigration paperwork, employment status, or possible discrimination, please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.

What are your thoughts on the failure of the DREAM Act to escape a filibuster in the United States Senate today?


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